Peter Kariuki is almost 70 years old now but for the last 31 years he has been fighting to clear his name and to get back his military rank. Those are 31 years of his life that he has lost and are gone forever.
The Daily Nation yesterday published a fascinating piece on the sad story of Kariuki. Read it HERE.
fact Kariuki was lucky in that he missed the hangman's noose by a
whisker. And it all happen simply because he was the “wrong tribe.”
Mulinge with Mahmood Mohammed in the 80s
military and even police appointments have always been political. The
insecure Kenyan presidency in the past has been uncomfortable about
having any senior security men close to them whom they do not trust
completely. And quite often those they trust have ended up being people
from their own villages and where possible relatives. Both Ben Gethi who
headed GSU and Bernard Hinga (police commissioner) were relatives of
President Jomo Kenyatta. This has meant that promotion beyond a certain
level in the military and police has always been highly dependent on the
politics of the day rather than merit. The saddest thing here is that
many very competent and deserving officers have lost out simply because
they were the wrong tribe.
Mercifully things are beginning to change now but ever too slowly.
back to Kariuki's tale. The only reason that Kariuki headed the air
force under Moi was because that wing of the KDF has always been "highly
technical" requiring officers with a strong academic background
(especially in the sciences). The result is that to this day most of the
air force personnel are either Luo or Kikuyu.
It is no secret that the air force has always looked down on non-airforce personnel as uneducated and not very bright. "Watu wa mkono"
they used to be referred to in the 1980s. Loosely translated it means
the people who do the manual work under supervision of professionals.
The rest of the military then quite rightly felt that the air force
fellows were full of themselves and “thought that they knew everything."
Interestingly current chief spook Michael Gichangi is a former senior
air force officer.
Peter Kariuki today: Lost 31 years of his life because he is a Kikuyu.
This military politics was the main reason why
the 1982 coup attempt failed. Those outside the air force who had to
make a quick decision on whether or not to join the coup plotters just
couldn't stand the idea of having the air force lead the putsch and so
when they had the chance to crush the 1982 coup attempt you can be sure
that it was done with more than a lot of relish and gratification.
so despite the fact that Peter Kariuki was one of the first people to
sound out the alarm that there was a coup plot in the offing in 1982
(well before it actually happened on August 1st) and even informing the
CGS at the time (General Mulinge), he was arrested, charged and jailed
for 4 years for “failing to stop the coup.” He was also stripped of his
And it all boiled down to the then President’s
well known phobia for the Kikuyu. Moi's great fear for the Kikuyu is
illustrated clearly in my book; Dark Secrets of the Presidency. “Iyo Kikuyu lazima alijua kitu, rokota yeye.” (That Kikuyu must have known something, arrest him).
more interesting was the man who replaced Kariuki at the air force
(which was re-named the “82 air force” after that failed coup.) It was
the then deputy army commander General Mahmood Mohammed. Mohammed was
quite a character. It is said that at the height of the 82 coup he did
not trust any other officer to lead the operation to re-take the KBC
(held by the air force and being used to transmit news of the
“successful” coup countrywide.) And so he removed his decorated military
jacket heavy with medals and stars and put on military fatigues to
personally lead the squad that stormed KBC and took out the air force
rebels with heavy casualties on the air force side (they were not
accepting any surrenders). Mahmoud's gun was said to have been one of
the most active in that operation.
Mahmood was a career infantry
soldier with a very limited educational background but he is the one who
got the nod to take over at the helm of the "technical" airforce,
Mahmood later went on to take over as CGS when Mulinge retired.
JUBILEE government needs to address and correct this great injustice
against a patriotic and faithful soldier who has suffered all these
years simply because he was the wrong tribe at the wrong place at the
Read also;Details of '82 coup still classified information
Raw notes: Rumours of Uhuru being behind Westgate persist
Kumekucha Real Time Intelligence Reports; Ridiculous way "White Widow" got linked to Westgate.
(Click Here to find out how you can get this info plus FREE candid updates instantly in the next few seconds OR send an email to umissedthis at gmail dot com for an instant response on how to get the reports.)
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